I FINALLY finished those $#%@&* dining chair cushions! This was one of those projects that seemed like a great idea -- simple! practical! cost-saving! perfect for Feather Your Nest! -- and turned out to be a frustrating endeavor. There was much hair-pulling, stabbing of the fingers with pins, and cursing ( I don't think I ever referred to them as anything other than "those damn cushions" in my emails!).
Do you swear when crafting? My husband likes to joke he never knew what a sailor's mouth I had until I began sewing regularly. He also blames all the kids' bad words on me -- which is probably fair, ahem.
But I digress. They're done!!
It's really hard to take photos of all the chairs around the table -- while at the same time cropping out the huge piles of craft- and kid-related messes in the background, ha ha!
We had had our old dining room chair cushions for many years. And they had had stains and missing buttons and torn ties for... many years. (But hidden under the table, so not so disgraceful, right?) Seriously, I am ashamed to think how long this project has been on my to-do list.
When Feather Your Nest came along, I moved this to the top of the priority list and chose a grey and white botanical print from Ikea in my stash to recover the old nasty cushions. I thought the home dec weight and neutral color would be perfect.
After: Kind of better.
This is kind of a boring post, but I'd love some input on the problems I ran into. So read on if you think you might be able to help me!
Nothing about this project was easy. Turns out I only had 1/2 yard of this fabric, and I needed that much to make each of my 4 cushions. So off to Ikea I went with the kids in tow (you probably remember this little post). I found the fabric on their diplay rack, but not on the shelf. So I hunted down an employee who found out the fabric was out of stock AND discontinued. Gah! With the kids squirming in the cart next to me, I asked her on a whim if I could buy the display fabric. She said yes! I had to cut out industrial grommets and some weird seams, but I got exactly 1.5 yards! Mission accomplished.
Yes. That's a beer. Because that's how I roll. And it helps with the swearing.
I'll spare you the painful details of the construction. The gist is: I wanted velcro tabs instead of ties to keep the cushions in place. I also wanted an invisible zipper in the back so that I could wash the cushion covers. I followed the pattern of the existing cushion covers, with one large piece of fabric wrapping around the cushion, and a rectangular panel on either side.
My new heavy-duty machine did pretty well with the multiple layers of home dec fabric, aside from the velcro tabs which were a bit rough. I used a size-16 needle, but I probably needed a denim needle. Does that sound right?
I've put in invisible zippers several times now, and am starting to get the hang of it. But for the life of me, I still can't get the end of the zipper (with the bulky zipper pull thingy) to be neatly hidden like the rest. I use a regular zipper foot, and iron my zippers first. And then I sew each zipper side in 2 parts, pulling the zipper pull to the middle to get it out of the way in the 2nd part. Can't figure it out. If you have any input to share in the comment, please do!
The most frustrating part came when I had to attach the rectangular panels to each side of the large wrap-around piece of fabric. I pinned so carefully (and have all those stab marks on my fingers to show for it) but still cannot figure out how to properly ease a rectangular shape into a "continuous" loop of fabric, if that makes any sense? Some of my ends matched decently, some didn't at all. All of my cushion covers have puckers and pleats instead of being smoothly attached. BLECH. This is when I think a proper sewing class would do me some good -- there are a lot of techniques I don't know and it would save me much grief to learn them.
All right. That's about it. The cushion covers are done. Our fresh cushions are on the dining room chairs. And altogether, I'm pretty happy with them! Not sure this is a project I would tackle again, but I'm happy to cross it off my list! Next up: paint the dining room chairs!
Does anyone have some tips or a good tutorial for me to learn how to do those box seams (or whatever they're called??)? How about invisible zippers? Have you taken on a household improvement project that just wasn't worth the time and money? Do you swear when crafting? So many questions! I'd love to hear from you in the comments.
Oh and don't forget to go check out all the ah-mazing Feather Your Nest entries and go vote for your favorite(s) here.